A storied career

Dale Hess’ storied career as a San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) executive blooms with accolades and honors. But his legend sprouted early, when his corporate journalism professor at Boston University suggested he attempt a “warm-up” interview at the Boston Statler Hilton Hotel—without an appointment. Two hours later, he was hired in Catering Sales for Hilton Hotels in Boston, Washington, D.C. and Florida.

Despite his reserved, ultra-private personality, Dale served as a benchmark of excellence for SFCVB staff, the hospitality industry and community leaders.

Insatiable curiosity

Widely respected for his calm, steady leadership, depth of experience, and volunteerism, Dale was driven by his insatiable curiosity to explore the world and gain knowledge.

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Family Readiness

By Tara Leigh Rose
(Edited by The Precis)

Shirley Lee Smith, a trailblazer and mother of nine who transformed the role of U.S. Marine Corps families—an undertaking that improved combat readiness for those deployed—passed away in Vienna, VA on Friday, June 3, 2022. She was 91.

What is now known as the Family Readiness Program, operational in some form across all branches of the military, was just one of Shirley’s pioneering efforts. While stationed in Hawaii as a Marine Corps wife, she enacted measures to improve poor living conditions for many residents, resolved transportation issues for hundreds of schoolchildren, and vastly enhanced resources in the local community.

Shirley’s vision

In her later years, she launched a sewing apprenticeship at a Catholic mission in Chimbote, Peru to help the impoverished population develop skills for employment. Once again, Shirley’s vision laid the foundation for future programs with her trademark traits of devout faith and compassion for those less fortunate.

Born on July 10, 1930, in Hoquiam, WA, to Grace and Claude Lee, Shirley Mae Lee was deeply influenced by the difficulties she and her parents endured during the Depression. Emboldened by skills she acquired in 4-H Club, she labored throughout her life to give back and work on behalf of others. Shirley was especially passionate about empowering women.

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1934 to 2022

Those ice-blue Paul Newman eyes

If Jack Daybell centered those ice-blue Paul Newman eyes your way, you knew you had his full attention. There was no one else in the room. With family, an extra warmth exuded from him, something intangible that lingered in his playfully wicked smile, especially when directed at his beloved wife, Bonnie.

Even near the end, when Parkinson’s disease and a stroke had ravaged his mental and physical abilities, Jack recognized his loved ones, gave great hugs, and gleefully welcomed a frosty Mirror Pond Pale Ale, especially the one his children smuggled into his hospital room. Still, his passing at age 88 on May 10, 2022, at St. Anthony’s Hospital, in his hometown of Gig Harbor, WA, reigns as an incalculable loss for all who knew him. As she had been for months of hospital stays and doctor’s visits, Bonnie was at his side, as was stepdaughter Susan Adamski.

Huge sports fan and natural athlete

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1968 to 2022

[Editor’s Note: In an effort to honor the heroism of the Ukrainian people, the following story, written by Sudarsan Raghavan, is reprinted from the Washington Post. Photos by Heidi Levine.]

Families bury the dead as Ukraine counts war casualties

Oksana Shlonska holds a portrait of her husband, who was killed by the Russians in Ukraine.

KYIV, Ukraine — Even as the boom of outgoing artillery shells sounded every minute, Oksana Shlonska was determined to bury her husband. He was killed by gunfire last Sunday, but the war had prevented his final rites. First, the autopsy took days due to the numerous corpses arriving at the morgue. Then, on Thursday, a Grad missile crashed near the gravesite in Kyiv, forcing the mourners to flee. “The Russians shelled even the cemetery,” said Shlonska, 52. “They fear even our dead.”

On Friday, despite the danger, she was going to try again to pay her last respects to her 54-year-old husband, Volodymyr Nezhenets, a child psychologist who signed up last week to fight against Russia and was fatally shot in a gun battle not too far from the cemetery. “It is important for me to bury him today,” she said as she waited in the morning at the morgue to claim his remains. In her arms, she clutched a portrait of him.

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1974 – 2022

A brave, dedicated, humble hero

Written by RaeAnn Christensen
(Edited by The Précis)

The heart of an American hero just couldn’t take it anymore. Jeffrey Matthew Sales—a beloved husband, father, and former Army Combat Medic who took his last breath in the same COVID unit where he had been working tirelessly as a nurse to save lives—died of the virus and heart failure, on January 21st, 2022, at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, FL.

He was just 47.

Diagnosed at age 22 with a hole in his heart that doctors repaired with a metal valve, Jeff was keenly aware and cautious throughout his medical career. Years later, that same valve failed, ravaged by a sudden case of COVID.

Said Jeff’s son Brayden Sales: “They did everything they could; they had the whole hospital working on him. We couldn’t have asked for a better medical staff.” The staff loved him, Brayden said, and spent as much time with his dad as his family.

“If you want it, work for it.”

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